A Delhi policeman injured in the violent protests over the gang-rape and brutal assault of a student died Tuesday after battling for life in a city hospital.
Subhash Chand Tomar, a 47-year-old Delhi police constable, had been on a ventilator since he was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi Sunday.
"With deep regret, we have to inform you Constable Subhash Chand Tomar succumbed to his injuries at 6:40 a.m. [Tuesday local time]," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
The police said eight people were arrested Monday and booked for rioting and attempted murder for the constable’s injury, which will now be upgraded to murder charges.
The protests erupted Saturday over the rape of a 23-year-old woman Dec. 16 by several men on a moving bus in Delhi. A male friend — a 28-year-old software engineer — who was with the woman was also beaten. The victims were stripped and thrown out of the bus after almost an hour of assault on a New Delhi street.
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Six suspects have been taken into custody so far, even as the woman battles for her life in New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.
Meanwhile, the protesters have vowed to continue their agitation for the fourth consecutive day Tuesday.
More than 140 people and at least 65 Delhi Police officials were injured during the clashes during the protests at the India Gate Sunday.
The police, who faced criticism for the clampdown on the demonstrators, apologized in a late night tweet Monday. “We sincerely regret if any innocent protester was hurt or lathi-charged and apologize,” the tweet stated.
The police used brute force to clear India Gate Sunday evening after some protesters became violent, pulling down and burning several barricades and damaging government property.
The police said they used around 250 tear-gas shells and repeated baton charges to evacuate protesters from the India Gate area.
Nine Metro stations in Central Delhi will remain closed Tuesday under a police directive to prevent protesters from reaching India Gate, the PTI has reported.
The death of the police constable has put under scrutiny the Aam Aadmi Party, India’s newest political party launched in late November by anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal.
An AAP worker, Chaman Kumar, is among the eight people arrested for the attack on Tomar after they were identified from a video footage.
"We had arrested eight people in connection with injuries caused to Constable Subhash Tomar, they were booked for rioting and attempt to murder. One of them is a person called Chaman Kumar who is a member of AAP,” Joint Commissioner of Police, Central Range, Taj Hasan was quoted as saying by the CNN-IBN.
“They were all given bail by the magistrate's court. AAP member Manish Sisodia had furnished bail bonds for all of them. We will now see what further legal action needs to be taken and may even move court for cancellation of bail,” Hasan said.